European markets up after meeting by Germany and France
After a meeting this weekend between Germany's Merkel and France's Sarkozy the markets in Europe are in an upbeat mode. The two leaders, the largest members of the Eurozone, said they reached an agreement to recapitalize the European banks that they will discuss with other European leaders prior to their October 17-18 summit, according to the Associated Press. No details were released. The IMF indicates that $267 billion is needed to recapitalize the European banks while the EU disputes that number.
Belgium will nationalize Dexia bank
In another positive move by the Europeans, France, Belgium and Luxembourg agreed to the nationalization of Dexia bank for $5.4 billion. According to the Wall Street Journal, the nationalization will pave the way for the bank to eventually be broken into smaller units. Connecticut imposing state sales tax on Amazon In an aggressive move, Connecticut is considering filing suit against Amazon for failure to pay its state sales tax. Connecticut indicates that Amazon owes it approximately $9.4 million. The Associated Press reports that Amazon wrote a letter to the Connecticut Department of Revenue indicating that it did not owe tax because it has no physical presence in the state. Other states, such as California, have argued that through its affiliate marketing, Amazon does have presence in its state. Amazon is fighting this battle in multiple states. Connecticut estimates it loses $152 million annually of revenues from online marketers.
Used car prices fall
Used car prices, which reached their historical peak in May of this year, are finally beginning to fall. USA Today reports that the used car price index fell to 122.9 in September from 123.7 in August. The peak was 127.8 in May of this year. Last September the index was at 118.9. The index, run by Automotive News, began in January 1985 at 100. Airline demand dips but not fares The International Air Transport Association -IATA- indicates that the aggregated year over year Q2 profits for the airline industry fell for the first time in 8 quarters. August demand was down 1.6 percent compared to July. But consumers have not seen price drops as a result. Last year the airline industry had a net profit of $15.8 billion according to USA Today.
Employees to see increased health premiums
According to a report by Towers Watson, 66 percent of companies will increase the employees share of health insurance premiums this year. Seventy three percent will increase the share employees pay for dependents. Overall premiums have increased 5.9 percent, as reported in USA Today, down from 7.6 percent last year. The health insurance premiums continue to increase at the same time that personal income fell .1 percent.